Ordering for the Fun of it at Miles Kimball
May 29, 2008
I have been shopping at Miles Kimball for over 20 years. First I bought product through their paper catalog, and then with the advent of the internet, I made purchases using their website.
About Miles Kimball
This company has been in business since 1935. They offer a lot of different products. I would say the equivalent of Miles Kimball would be a department store. They offer everything from kitchen gadgets and outdoor/garden items to health and beauty, games and even pet products. Just like a department store, some items are of better quality than others.
Navigating the Site
This website is fairly similar to other online shopping sites, but with a few differences.
At the Top
The very top of the website offers two text links to: My Account and Customer Service. Beneath this header are five colored tabs: Home, Serenity Falls (gifts and collectibles), Candy Shoppe (candy, chocolate, drink mixes), Miles Kimball Cards (Christmas cards) and the Shopping Cart.
Under the tabs are buttons that link to: Catalog Quick Order (fill in the item number and quantity), Email Sign-up, and a Search box.
To the Left
This side of the page offers category links. Some of them include: Kitchen, Table Linens, Storage & Organization, Home Decor, Bathroom, Bedroom, Home Office, Books, Apparel & Jewelry, Hobbies & Leisure, Children, Photo Gifts/Cards, Holidays.
There are also some Easy Shopping links: New Arrivals, Best of Personalized, As Seen on TV, Kimball Klearance, Miles Kimball Sale, Web Exclusives.
In the Middle
The center of the Home Page includes a confusing array of images that are category specific rather than focusing on particular products. There is also a link to a customer survey.
Along the Bottom
More text links invite investigation of: About Us, Contact Us, Privacy & Security, Careers, Catalog Request, Quibble-Free Guarantee, Order Status, Shipping, Popular Searches. There is also a toll-free phone number for ordering.
Lets Go Shopping!
Over the years, I have ordered a variety of products that include: kitchen gadgets, measuring spoons, food hand-grinders, organizing products, personalized pencils and mailing labels.
My latest shopping expedition included a search for some garden decor for my mother. She loves whirl-a-gigs and pinwheels that spin in the breeze. I wanted to surprise her with a gift. The Miles Kimball paper catalog arrived and showed a neat holographic whirl-a-gig that was shaped like a flower. I knew she would love it.
I also used the Search feature to see if more whirl-a-gigs were available. In the search box, I typed wind ornament and one result showed a musical Christmas tree ornament ($12.50). I then typed in whirl-a-gig, and the search showed no results. I typed in lawn ornament, and seven results included deer sculptures ($21.99), frog yard ornaments ($19.99), outdoor squirrel ornaments in three different sizes ($4.99 - $9.29), a pair of flamingoes ($16.99)
and go figure this one
magical reindeer food ($2.99).
I gave up on the search feature and went to the Oudoor/Garden category. A sub-category included Windsocks, Banners, Chimes. This came back with eight results, but not the items I wanted. So I tried the sub-category of Outdoor Decor. This search yielded quite a few results, and the Holographic Flower Spinner ($8.99) was on page five. (Of course, if you have the item number from the catalog, you can type that directly into the search box for instant results.)
Each product page features a photograph and brief description. In the case of the Flower Spinner, the product information also listed the items dimensions. One disappointing feature is that the photographs cannot be enlarged, and there are no additional views of the item.
To add items to the shopping cart, at the bottom of each product page is the item description, item number, price and a box to indicate quantity. (Sale prices are written in red if there is a sale; otherwise, the prices are in black.) Type in the quantity and click the Add to Cart button. A note beneath the button says, Any sale price will be shown in your shopping cart. Once the button is clicked, a box appears that says the item has been added to the cart, and there is another button you can click to view the carts contents. All the product pages include a link at the bottom that says View Cart.
To check out, click the View Cart link. This opens a page where the items in the cart appear at the right in a column, complete with product photo, quantity ordered, item number, price and whether the product is available. A subtotal appears at the bottom. You can change the quantity of items and update the cart from this page.
The page offers a box to enter a catalog promotion code if you are ordering from a paper catalog. New users are required to fill out the typical shipping and contact information. Once you fill in this information, you need to indicate this is the address the items are shipping to. If you wish items shipped to a different address, there is a link to add another address. When finished, click the Continue button to check out.
Next a page opens with shipping choices. In my case: Best Service ($5.99), USPS Priority Mail ($11.99), FedEx Home/Ground ($13.99), FedEx Second Day ($21.99), FedEx Standard Overnight ($37.99). A note also appeared that said that I could spend $7.12 more without increasing the shipping costs.
If you dont like to receive emails from online stores, make sure to uncheck the box on this page or else youll start receiving emails from Miles Kimball.
Payment choices include: American Express, Visa, MasterCard, Discover.
Notification & Shipping
Shortly after placing the order, I received an email confirmation. Then I received notification the order had shipped. However, there was no tracking number provided and no way to obtain one. This was disappointing as I like tracking shipments so that I know when to expect them.
The package arrived in a timely fashion. It came in a sturdy cardboard box. The spinner was unassembled in a plastic bag. It became a family project to put it together. My mother loves it!! However, this is one of the products that has some quality issues. The materials are holding up great, but the spinner tends to fly apart with any stiff breeze. Then I have to chase down the parts that flung themselves around the yard and reassemble it.
I am not a frequent Miles Kimball shopper. However, I have been an off-and-on customer over the years. I usually buy products that I cant find elsewhere or that are a great value. As a rule, product quality is good. I have only had issue with a few items that I felt could have been better made. No doubt I will shop here again.
I hope you found this review useful.
Enjoy the day,
Please read my other reviews:
Coach.com Online Store
Hammacher Schlemmer Online Store
BestBuy Online Store
Buy.com Online Store
NewEgg.com Online Store
Circuit City Online Store
Linen >n Things Online Store
Sheplers Online Store
Kohl's Online Store
Harry and David Online and at the Mall
The Republic of Tea Online Store
Copyright 2008 Dawn L. Stewart